Kobe Bryant Celebration of Life: Tracy McGrady Reveals 'It's Still Hard to Accept My Friend Is Gone'

The Celebration of Life for Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna took place at the Staples Center on Monday and Tracy McGrady is still taking it all in. The former NBA star was talking about Bryant on the ESPN show The Jump and he said the loss of the Los Angeles Lakers legend hit him harder this week because he was supposed to be with him and his basketball team this weekend. Bryant and McGrady were scheduled to coach in a tournament in Las Vegas.

"I just had a moment on the sidelines yesterday," McGrady said. "Knowing that this weekend he was never going to walk through that door. It was hard for me to really accept that my friend is gone and I won't get the opportunity to him coach his girls.

"Just the love I see on his face every time I was around him during those moments. It was the best and the happiest I've seen Kobe in his life."

McGrady is one of the many people who still can't believe Bryant and Gianna are gone. Vanessa Bryant, Kobe's widow and Gianna's mother, spoke at the event and she talked about her relationship with Kobe.

"I couldn't see him as a celebrity, nor as an incredible basketball player. He was my sweet husband and the beautiful father of our children. He was mine. He was my everything," Vanessa said. "... He would do anything for me. I have no idea how I deserved a man that loved and wanted me more than Kobe. He was charismatic, a gentleman. He was loving, adoring and romantic."

Vanessa started her speech talking about Gianna and the type of person she was.


"She would hug me and hold me so tight, I could feel her love me. I loved the way she looked up at me while she hugged me. It was as if she was soaking me all in. We loved each other so much," she said . "... She was always, always, always considerate of others and their feelings. She was a beautiful, kind, happy, silly, thoughtful, and loving daughter and sister. She was so full of life and had so much more to offer this world."

Bryant and Gianna were killed in a helicopter crash along with seven other people on Jan. 26 outside the Los Angeles Area.